Kim Anderson

Report: Missouri signee Namon Wright to ask for release from National Letter of Intent

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One of the most important tasks for a new head coach is recruiting, from the players who have yet to make a choice to those who are already a part of the program. Of course there will be turnover, as evidenced by the rising number of transfers in college basketball, but the key for any new coach is to make sure he’s got enough quality pieces to be competitive.

And there there’s the dilemma of what to do with prospects who have signed a National Letter of Intent with the prior staff. While some will decide to stick around despite a coaching change others will want to reopen their recruitment, and that’s reportedly the case with Missouri signee Namon Wright.

One day after Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times reported that Wright would be requesting his release Jacob Steimer of the Columbia Missourian confirmed the news with Wright’s high school coach. According to Pacific Hills coach Ivan Barahona, Missouri asked Wright to hold off on the request until they completed the hiring process with former Central Missouri head coach Kim Anderson eventually being the hire.

However despite this move to request a release from his NLI, Wright apparently remains interested in Missouri despite the departure of the coaches (Frank Haith and Mark Phelps) who spent so much time recruiting him.

Barahona said Anderson will be in Los Angeles on Tuesday to talk with Wright, and he made it clear that Wright is still heavily considering attending Missouri.

“He likes Missouri a lot, let met tell you,” Barahona said.

Wright told his coach that Missouri’s campus is beautiful, that the people he met there were great, and that he enjoys Missouri’s fans who follow him on Twitter.

Missouri currently has two players committed to joining the program, with Jakeenan Gant deciding to remain signed and D’Angelo Allen committing Sunday. The retention of Gant was obviously a positive development for Anderson and his staff, which includes holdover Tim Fuller.

And if they can convince Wright, a Top 100 product, to join the program Missouri will receive a much-needed boost on the perimeter as they look to account for the early departures of Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.